what we believe

Everyone is welcome at First Church of Christ, regardless of whether or not you believe everything we believe. In fact, you can belong before you believe!
We believe the Bible is the only adequate guide for living a Christian life. We hope the following statement of belief will help you become better acquainted with the preaching and teaching emphasis you are likely to encounter at First Church.
Shaping the teaching, culture, and direction of our church, these foundational biblical beliefs fuel all that we say and do here.

core church beliefs

  • God eternally exists as three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The three distinct persons of the Trinity are all fully God; all of God’s attributes are true of each person and together they are one God.
  • While the word “trinity” never appears in Scripture, it is an accepted doctrine based on the Bible’s teachings as a whole. We see throughout Scripture, evidence of the Trinity.

Genesis 1:26 | Psalm 45:6-7 | Psalm 110:1 | Isaiah 6:8 | Matthew 3:16-17 | Matthew 28:19 | John 1:1-5 | John 13:20 | 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 | 2 Corinthians 13:14 | Ephesians 2:18 | 1 Peter 1:2
  • The first member of the Trinity is God the Father. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.
  • God is sovereign and infinite, meaning He has no limitations. God the Father can be intimately known but because of His infiniteness, He can never be fully known.
  • God the Father can only be known through Jesus.

Genesis 1:1 | Colossians 1:16 | Acts 4:24 | Hebrews 1:3 | Revelation 4:11 | Psalm 145:3 | Jeremiah 9:23-24 | Romans 11:33 | Matthew 11:27 | John 14:6
  • Jesus is the second member of the Trinity and the Son of God.
  • He is God incarnate as man, and He was both fully God and fully human. He was born of a virgin, Mary, and conceived by the Holy Spirit. He lived a perfect and sinless life in order to be a holy and worthy sacrifice. He was tempted as we are tempted, He suffered as we have suffered, yet He did not fall into sin.
  • He came to serve and not to be served. Jesus was betrayed, beaten, mocked, and crucified on the cross where He died. Jesus’ life was not taken from Him by anyone; He gave it as a willing sacrifice for everyone. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death and showing His power over both.
  • After He rose from the dead, He was on earth for 40 days before He ascended into Heaven. Jesus will return one day to rule and reign forever, judge the world, and take those who follow Him to live in the presence of God for eternity.

Luke 24:39 | John 1:1 | John 1:18 | Romans 9:5 | Colossians 1:19 | Colossians 2:9 | Matthew 1:18-20 | Luke 1:34-35 | John 15:10 | 2 Corinthians 5:21 | Hebrews 4:15 | Hebrews 9:26 | 1 Peter 3:18 | 1 John 3:5 | Hebrews 2:18 | Hebrews 7:26 | Philippians 2:5-11 | Matthew 27:27-30 | Mark 15:24 | Luke 23:26-49 | John 19:16-37 | John 10:18 | Matthew 28:1-20 | Mark 16:1-8 | Luke 24:1-53 | John 20:1-23 | 1 Corinthians 15:20 | Ephesians 1:19-20 | 1 Peter 1:3 | Luke 24:50-51 | Acts 1:9-11 | Matthew 25:31-46 | John 14:2-3

  • The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity.
  • The Holy Spirit is promised to those who profess faith in Jesus; the Holy Spirit is the presence of God living inside each follower of Christ. The Holy Spirit teaches and bears witness about Jesus.
  • He empowers those who follow Jesus in different forms of ministry; He gives different spiritual gifts to followers of Jesus for the purpose of ministry. He empowers prayer. He gives strength and empowers followers of Jesus to overcome spiritual opposition. He sanctifies followers of Jesus. He convicts the world of sin. He guides. He gives assurance of salvation to followers of Jesus.

Acts 2:38 | Romans 8:9-11 | John 14:26 | John 15:26 | John 16:7-15 | Acts 1:8 | 1 Thessalonians 1:5 | 1 Peter 1:12 | 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 | Romans 8:26 | Ephesians 2:18 | Matthew 12:28 | Ephesians 6:10-18 | 1 Corinthians 6:11 | 2 Thessalonians 2:13 | Titus 3:4-7 | Romans 8:14 | Galatians 5:16-18 | Romans 8:16 | Ephesians 1:13-14

  • The Bible is the authoritative and inerrant Word of God; it is God’s revelation about Himself to man. It is historically accurate and internally consistent, telling one story of redemption pointing to Jesus Christ.
  • God used over 40 different authors to write the 66 books of the Bible, all being divinely directed by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the living Word of God, applicable to all time, and is not only the measure and standard of truth, but truth itself.

Numbers 23:19 | Psalm 12:6 | Proverbs 30:5 | John 17:17 | 2 Timothy 3:16 | 1 Peter 1:20-21 | 2 Timothy 3:16 | Hebrews 4:12
  • We are the pinnacle of God’s creation, created in the likeness of God. We have rebelled against God through sin and separated ourselves from the glory of God; we are in need of redemption and restoration to the intended likeness we were created in that has been distorted by sin.

Genesis 1:27 | Genesis 5:1-2 | Romans 3:23 | Romans 5:12 | 1 Corinthians 15:49 | Colossians 3:10
  • Salvation is a gift from God that can never be earned through good works or self-improvement. Salvation is only given by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, the redemption of our sin. Salvation is based on the work of Jesus on the cross where He sacrificially died, bearing the sin and punishment of all mankind, and paying the price required of sin for all those who believe in Him.

John 1:12 | John 3:16 | Ephesians 1:7 | Ephesians 2:8-9 | Romans 3:23-25 | Romans 5:6-9 | Romans 6:23
  • The church is the community of all true followers of Jesus Christ. The church is the body of Christ of which Jesus is the head, set on the mission given by Jesus to make disciples and spread the love of Christ.
  • All true followers of Jesus should take an active part in the body of a local church to worship God, to know God more intimately, pray, to make disciples of Jesus, serve, for encouragement, and to be nurtured in order to grow to maturity in faith.

Ephesians 5:23 | Matthew 28:18-20 | Acts 1:8 | 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 | Ephesians 1:22-23 | Hebrews 10:25 | Colossians 3:16 | Ephesians 1:12 | Ephesians 5:16-20 | Psalm 9:10 | Jeremiah 9:24 | 2 Corinthians 4:6 | Philippians 3:10 | Colossians 1:9-10 | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | Matthew 28:19 | Matthew 20:26-28 | Luke 6:35-36 | Acts 14:21-22 | 1 Thessalonians 5:11 | Ephesians 4:12-13 | Colossians 1:28 | Hebrews 13:17

  • The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith. Baptism is a public confession of that faith in Jesus to God, the church, and the world.
  • Following our understanding of Scripture, we practice baptism by immersion; the Greek word used exclusively throughout the New Testament for baptism is “baptizo,” which means to plunge, dip, or immerse. Jesus modeled this form of baptism and commanded it, making baptism a symbolic act of obedience and faith. Baptism by immersion represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, symbolizing our old self dying, being buried in the water, and raised as a new creation in Christ Jesus.
  • Anyone who has professed faith in Jesus Christ should be baptized at his or her conversion or soon after.

Ephesians 2:8 | Matthew 10:32 | Matthew 3:13-17 | Matthew 28:19 | Romans 6:3-4 | 2 Corinthians 5:17 | Acts 2:38 | Acts 8:12 | Acts 8:36-38 | Acts 10:44-48
  • Man was created for eternal existence. Jesus will return one day and on that day all will be judged. There will be just punishment and reward. For those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation, and they will spend eternity in the presence of God in real places, the new Heaven and the New Earth. Those who reject Jesus will be separated from Him by their sin in a real place of eternal conscious punishment called Hell.

Matthew 24:44 | John 14:3 | Acts 1:11 | 1 Thessalonians 4:16 | Hebrews 9:28 | Revelation 22:20 | Romans 14:10-12 | Revelation 20:11-15 | Romans 2:5-8 | 2 Corinthians 5:10 | Matthew 25:34 | Romans 8:1 | 2 Peter 3:13 | Matthew 25:41 | Matthew 25:46 | 
Revelation 14:9-11
  • We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, children who are orphaned, those who experience physical or mental challenges, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.

Psalm 139
  • We believe in the historically Christian view of marriage and sexual expression; namely, that marriage is a one-flesh covenant union between two sexually different persons (male and female) from different families, and that all sexual relationships outside the marriage covenant are sin.
  • God has given his people two best ways to enjoy connection in family: celibate singleness for the sake of kingdom work with undivided attention, or lifelong marriage between one woman and one man.
  • Biological sex is an essential part of human identity.
  • All forms of abuse, slander, dehumanization, or oppression toward fellow humans is an affront against God’s sacred image, which has been stamped upon all people.

Genesis 2:18-25 | 1 Corinthians 6:18 | 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 | Hebrews 13:4 | Genesis 1:26-27 | Romans 1:26-27 | Matthew 19:3-5
  • The statement of belief does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of First Church of Christ’s belief, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our elder team is First Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.